At this year’s WOMAD world music festival (27-29 July 2007) UK-based international development agency Christian Aid is asking visitors to join its Climate Changed campaign as they listen to acts from developing countries which are struggling to adapt to the devastating effects of climate change.
Many acts at the festival come from countries that are hit the worst by global warming. Baaba Maal and Daara J’s home country of Senegal has experienced a 30-40 per cent drop in rainfall since the 1970s, which has destroyed farmers’ livelihoods. Mali, the birthplace of Tinariwen and Vieux Farka Toure, has also suffered extreme drought resulting in food shortages.
It is predicted that Trilok Gurtu’s home country India could see a rise in temperatures by as much as four degrees in the next 50 years, which would result in an increase in heat-related deaths, and the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
The Christian Aid Climate Changed campaign is calling on the UK Government to ensure the new Climate Bill includes a target for CO2 emission cuts of at least 80 per cent by 2050. It is also calling for the mandatory reporting of CO2 emissions by companies trading in the UK.
Nazmul Chowdhury from Practical Action in Bangladesh, said: "Forget about making poverty history. Climate change will make poverty permanent."
Christian Aid works in 50 developing countries with some of the poorest communities, helping them to adapt to the effects of climate change.
Festival goers will also be able to find out how to join Christian Aid’s 1,000-mile ‘Cut the Carbon’ march which runs until 2 October. It is the longest protest march in UK history taking in 70 towns across the UK before ending in London. For more information about the rallies in Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, and London as well as concerts in Birmingham and Cardiff visit www.christianaid.org.uk  and www.pressureworks.org